Google is a household name, and for good reason! While their original mission was to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” they have expanded into so many other areas since then that it is truly mind-boggling. In fact, some people even consider Google to be one of the most influential companies in existence—so let’s take a look at 10 ways they have changed our everyday lives:
1. Book Search
I am sure that I am not the only person who has spent countless hours on their local library attempting to find some book which they are interested in reading, then realizing that it is out of stock or loaned out to someone else. It may sound silly, but this task has always been extremely time-consuming and frustrating for me. Think about how many times you’ve needed to do this same exact task while at your local library, bookstore or even surfing on Amazon. Now think about how much less frustration there would be if there were a single website containing all available books for sale/out of stock/on loan—in other words, a search engine just for books! This is exactly what Google’s new book search does. Google has partnered with the major libraries in the United States to scan their entire collections of material, making them searchable on this website. Just type in a word or phrase and you can find any book that contains it!
This may seem like something that doesn’t really benefit us as regular humans, but just think about how much time we’ve spent looking up phone numbers for local businesses over the years… I am sure it is quite a bit! Now think about how nice it would be to have one easy-to-remember number to call for all your telecommunication needs—a number which directly represents an actual person who can help you with anything concerning your telephone calls (regardless of what you need help with). Goog411 is exactly this: a search engine which returns the numbers of local businesses, as well as their addresses and operating hours—even if you just enter a single word describing what it is that you’re looking for! I find this service extremely useful not only for finding phone numbers, but also for getting quick information about services or objects.
3. Google Search by Voice
Who hasn’t been at a loss for words while speaking to someone important? For me, it has happened countless times during interviews and presentations in front of large groups of people. It can be extremely frustrating when everyone’s eyes are on you and your mind goes completely blank! But now there is no reason to worry about this happening again, because you can easily reach for your phone and use Google’s voice search to find exactly what you’re looking for without any effort. Simply press the microphone icon on your Android device or iPhone, speak a phrase into the phone and Google will automatically return results for it!
Gmail has definitely changed my life for the better, and I am sure it has done the same for many other people as well. It is one of those things that we don’t realize how much we need/want it until we actually have access to it; which is why I was extremely excited when I finally got access to this magical free email service (even though I was only 13 years old at the time)! Nowadays, almost everyone has access to the Internet, which means almost everyone has an email account. But what makes Gmail so unique? For one thing, it actually looks great! It is clean and very easy to use…not to mention that you get 1TB of storage space, which enables people to store all sorts of media within their emails (photos, documents, presentations). The other huge benefit of having access to Gmail is the fact that Google automatically saves every conversation you have with someone—meaning that if you need information from your past conversations about something specific or important, you can just click on the conversation history button at the top left corner of your screen and easily look through all saved messages. This feature can be extremely helpful when doing research for a paper/presentation or when trying to solve a problem with your computer/phone.
5. Google Blog Search
Although there are many great places to read blogs online, having access to Google’s blog search is incredibly convenient! You can find new and interesting blogs about almost anything simply by typing a phrase in the search bar and selecting the “websites” tab. I’ve discovered so many great blogs in the past few years by using this search engine, which is why I think it’s an amazing tool to have access to. Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear way of finding out how you can do this on your computer (aside from searching through Google), but if you have Android/iPhone then it is quite easy—simply open your Google app, touch the menu icon in the top right corner of your screen and choose “settings”. From here you can customize all kinds of things, including choosing whether or not you want to use voice input/output! This means that whenever you search for something on Google using your phone, it will be either read to you or written on your screen if you have a visual impairment.
6. Google Calendar
In my opinion, the best thing about Google Calendar is that it automatically saves any event that has been added by somebody else. This is extremely useful for when I am planning events/parties with friends who don’t always remember to save their plans in their phone calendars! It also comes in handy when I’m trying to organize events at school, because everyone can just add an event and it will be saved in my calendar without any effort on my part. The only thing I wish they would change about this app is its design—after all, how can you expect people to use something if they find it unattractive? But otherwise, this is something that you definitely need to get your hands on!
It may sound incredibly strange, but I use this app almost every day and it has truly changed my life (and not just because of the new autoplay feature). You see, Google+ isn’t only a social media website—it also gives you access to some great communities which can be really helpful when doing research for an assignment/presentation or finding out information about a certain topic. It is so important to join groups related to what we want to learn more about because it enables us to connect with other people who have similar interests! This ultimately leads to less time wasted while searching for quality information, thus enabling everyone (including me) to spend their time more efficiently.
8. Google Translate
Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to be able to travel and explore the world—but unfortunately not everyone speaks English! Thankfully, there is a super helpful translation tool called Google Translate that lets you easily type/speak different languages using your phone or computer. All you have to do is select “translate” from the menu on your screen and either type something in (if you want it translated into text) or speak (if you want it translated into audio), and bam! You can now understand what was said in another language within seconds. It’s great for when we’re traveling and trying to talk to local people who don’t know any English, as well as for when we’re trying to read online articles about topics that are written in different languages.
9. Google Chrome
Google Chrome is a well-known internet browser filled with all kinds of helpful features, but the best part by far is the fact that you can use “tabs” to open multiple web pages at once! Not only does this save time because you don’t have to click on new links whenever you want access information from another website, it also saves memory/battery life because your computer/phone doesn’t have to work as hard. However, one thing I would like improved about this browser is its speed—it isn’t necessarily slow, I just wish it loaded web pages faster so that I could get to everything that I want to see faster.
10. Google Drive
Google Drive is a super helpful program that lets you save all of your important documents in the “cloud” so that they can be accessed from anywhere using any device/computer—even if the place isn’t connected to wifi! It’s great for when you’re working on a project or writing a paper with friends who might not have access to the same materials, because it enables you to easily share information between each other and work together! In my opinion, this means fewer fights about whose turn it is next and less time wasted by running back and forth between everyone trying to get what they need before being able to continue.